IBM - FEATURED ARTICLES
September 08, 2011
IBM Offers Database Solution to Enable Smart Meter Data Capture
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Consumers, corporations and government agencies are all banning together to try and drive more sustainable solutions, protect the environment and lower our reliance on fossil fuels. In this quest, utility companies are expanding on their efforts to develop the smart grid through the use of smart meters.
Smart meters and other smart solutions are designed to capitalize on the power of information as these utilities transform the grid. This move to the smart approach is expected to not only ensure a cleaner energy supply utility network, but also empower consumers and improve overall energy generation performance. Smart meters can deliver benefits throughout the value chain, not only benefitting the utilities, but also the end user.
A recent IBM (News - Alert) white paper, Build Smart Metering Solutions with IBM Informix TimeSeries, explores how smart meters change how utility companies capture data, which creates new possibilities for the use of that data. These meters can automatically record energy use in small increments, as small as 5 minutes. Traditional methods captured utility data just once per month to produce a bill.
This new data captured by the smart meter is used in two-way communications between the meter and the enterprise systems running outage management, time-of-use billing, load forecasting and other applications. This smart meter data can be used to optimize energy purchases, resolve service issues and improve overall power reliability. While all of these benefits are delivered, smart meters can also reduce consumer consumption and associated costs.
While smart meter solutions promise significant advantages, utility companies and solution providers are still lacking effective ways to handle the massive volumes of data they plan to capture. Many of the current database solutions available today cannot load time series data fast enough or store the data efficiently to accommodate the performance and data requirements of the utility companies.
IBM suggests that to realize the full potential in smart meters, these utility companies and their partners must leverage a data management solution that is designed specifically to reduce data load times, improve query performance and decrease the storage capacity needs for time series data.
To learn more about how IBM can solve these challenges, access this white paper in full by visiting the TMCnet white paper library.
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell